I’ve had some questions lately about what I consider “essential” to a knitter’s toolbox, especially for beginners. I could wax poetic about my Addi Click set or literally, the most expensive yarn in the world, but I think a little practicality is in order.
When I first started knitting, I was 19, had just moved to Texas for university, and I was using plastic needles and chunky yarn I found at Walmart (which was literally the only thing in the town I was living in, apart from several fast food places and a scuba diving park I never managed to find). But I want better for my beginner knitters, because an unfortunate situation with some acrylic boucle yarn early on in my knitting journey almost killed it for me right then and there. (Hashtag NEVER AGAIN.) So here are some things I think any knitter would think are useful, and are also pretty affordable for those of us without big wads of cash in our wallets.
This was the first needle set I ever bought. It’s almost every size you’ll ever need, along with some intimidatingly small lace gauge needles. And it’s less than £8. And these bamboo needles are…shockingly good quality? I’ve never had one splinter or break, I still use them all the time, and I’ve sat on plenty and they’re still intact. Bamboo is a nice material for needles, so smooth and pleasing to work with. I got mine on Amazon.
I have a nice interchangeable set now, but those are more of an investment than many are willing to make. I started off with KnitPro fixed circulars, and to be honest I still prefer fixed circulars. Interchangeables are handy but the joins always seem to snag the yarn, especially on the screw in kind. This is less than £6 and look how pretty they are! I’m a firm believer you should always love your tools, or you’ll wind up hating your hobby. Get some KnitPros on Amazon!
Bits and Bobs
This little accessory kit is about £7 and contains a whole bunch of stuff you’ll find useful. It was the first thing I bought when I started venturing into more complicated techniques like cables and lace, and knitting things that weren’t just rectangles or squares. I still have tons of those little stitch markers (there are FOUR kinds!),and while the seam ripper is a weird choice for a knitting kit, the cable pins, stitch holders, measuring tape, point protectors, yarn needles, and compartmentalized box are one of the best purchases I ever made for less then a tenner. Click here to check it out on Amazon.
You need a yarn winder. Seriously, take my word for it. You won’t always have a helpful spouse or the back of a chair to employ as you slowly and painstakingly wind 300g of lace weight yarn. Stop torturing yourself. Spend £10 and get one of these. (Spoiler alert! Many places have these at a much higher cost, but nearly all of these things are produced by THE SAME FACTORY. They’re all the same, spend £10 instead of £50 or whatever insane price people are charging these days.) Here it is on Amazon.
Trust me, you need one of these too, especially if you ever purchase yarn in skeins/hanks. Pair this with that ball winder up there and you will be on a yarn winding ROLL. Now, there are better yarn swifts than this one, but they’re much more expensive. This is the exact one I have, and 99.9% of the time I have no issues with it, and it folds down for storage. Snag one for yourself on Amazon.
SHAMLESS SELF PROMOTION ALERT: I have these 8-bit heart stitch markers in the GamerCrafting Etsy shop for £6, in a few different styles. These medium ones, some clip on stitch markers, and giant ones for giant needles. Get some here.
Okay, so *technically* this isn’t under £10 from Amazon, it’s £10.99. It was a little less when I purchased it, but you can still get it cheaper from other sellers on Amazon, so it’s going in this post anyway! This is one of the best little purchases I ever made; it includes patterns and tips for cables, lace, knit/purl textures, mosaic stitches, and more. It’s legit. Pick up a copy on Amazon or at your local book store.